Ottawa Saves Season with 29 Seconds Left

Ottawa Saves Season with 29 Seconds Left

All Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson did was stop 49 of 50 shots on goal in more than 127 minutes of action, race off the ice in the final 30 seconds of regulation to help the short-handed Ottawa Senators tie the game and save the Senators from being virtually eliminated from the NHL playoffs by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Ottawa went on to defeat Pittsburgh 2-1 in double overtime. 

Technically, the Senators would have still been alive without Anderson’s heroics, but in fact they would have trailed three games to none – a hole from which only two out of 110 NHL teams have ever rallied.

A deflection off a skate early in the game prevented Daniel Alfredsson from scoring for Ottawa, but another skate deflection led to his goal with only 29 seconds to go in regulation.

On his earlier opportunities, his point-blank shot just caught goalie Tomas Vokoun’s skate as Alfredsson lunched toward the net looking for the puck the goalie landed on him and laid across him.

With that among many other great shots by both teams being stopped by both goalies, the game remained tied until the Ottawa defense basically gave away a goal. A very weak attempt to clear the puck from the right side of the net was basically simply a perfect centering pass to Sergei Gonchar, who lined up a shot and then slid the puck over to Tyler Kennedy who shot it past a virtually defenseless Anderson with just 1:07 to go in the second period for his only goal allowed.

This was not a typical low scoring game, as both teams put great shots on goal throughout the game.

The Senators needed one more herioc save by Anderson in regulation to stay alive, as Sidney Crosby lined up a hard shot from 20 feet to the left of the goal in the final 10 seconds, but Anderson stopped it.

After a scoreless first overtime with more heroics from Anderson and Vokoun, who saved 46 shots himself, Colin Greening finally put a backhand past him to give Ottawa the 2-1 win 7:39 into the second overtime and hold the Penguins to a 2-1 series lead.